Saturday, March 6, 2010
Little Green Things
And here I was all prepared to write about planting my onion seeds. A much less sexy subject, I must say, than oh, I don't know, THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING. But I came home from brunch today--a gorgeous early March day that felt like a balmy 50 degrees (hallelujah!)--and decided to nose around my garden, which is something I don't think I've done since November when we planted our masses of spring bulbs. And there, in the dwindling afternoon sunlight, I saw something I did not expect to see--a tiny little sprig of green elbowing its way out of the ground. At that point I knew I'd have to skip the onion report--the first sign of spring's arrival is a much more interesting story.
To really understand how amazing it is to see a spring bulb emerge from the ground, you first need to understand what our backyard looked like just two weeks ago.
As a person who grew up in Southern California, this whole winter thing is baffling. It's my fourth winter and yet each year it continues to surprise and annoy me. It's sort of like going to the dentist--once you've been, you know exactly what to expect the next time, but that doesn't make the experience any more pleasant. You see, winter just seems to last so darn long. And my thin California skin, still confused after all of these winters, gets dry and flaky and my hair goes straight (it's a really strange phenomenon), and my winter clothes are almost never cute, and I'm never wearing waterproof shoes. It's not a very sexy time for me at all.
In preparation for this miserable time of year, fellow winter-haters across the world plant bulbs in the fall knowing that we're going to need a little pick-me-up by the time it's March. We plan ahead to address our impending depression and how sick we know we're going to be of our favorite reality TV series after months of hibernation on the couch. This year Robb and I went a little bananas, planting 8 different varieties of spring bulbs (76 bulbs in all!)--mountain bells, Mediterranean bells, three kinds of tulips, pink daffodils, and snow crocuses. I think we were trying to make up for the lousy job we did the year before. We didn't get a chance to plant until the last week of November, when the ground was frozen. Picture me dressed in full winter garb attempting to shovel into icy soil as the neighbors upstairs looked out their window laughing. Consequently, our tulips last year were...well, wonky to say the least. Other words that come to mind: Sparse, bizarre, sister-wife. You get the picture.
This year, I think we're off to a better start. Dozens of their little heads have started to peek through the soil. Do I know which ones are which? Nope! My guess is that the variety at the top of the page is a daffodil, and the one shown below that is a tulip. The one directly above is a total mystery...for all I know it's swiss chard. Obviously I'm no expert, so if you are (of if you just feel like guessing), leave a comment! Maybe we can all take guesses and place bets? Either which way, I wish each and every one of you a happy early spring. Now let's just hope that more snow this month doesn't freeze the tootsies off of my eager little tulips and daffodils (and swiss chard). If so, then boy are they gonna feel silly.